AFCON 2019: Cranes aim at early qualification as they host Lesotho

Kenneth Kazibwe

Kenneth Kazibwe

, News

Uganda Cranes captain, Denis Onyango has said the team will be looking at an early qualification as they play against Lesotho in the AFCON 2019 group L qualifying game on Saturday at Namboole.

Uganda are top of Group L with four points after being held to a barren draw by Tanzania’s Taifa Stars last month.

Addressing a pre-match press conference on Friday, Onyango said despite a disappointing result against Tanzania, the players are now fired up to ensure an early qualification for the AFCON finals.

“By Tuesday, we want to see the team qualify. It is our obligation to take the team back to AFCON,”Onyango said.

Cranes will host Lesotho at home tomorrow before a return leg game on Tuesday in Maseru.

However, the Cranes skipper has warned his teammates against complacency as they play Lesotho’s Likuena (the Crocodiles) in their third group L game on Saturday.

Onyango believes the underdogs can surprise everyone on the day.

“Some might say we are probably playing a small team but in football there are no small teams any more. Despite having two points, they have never lost in the group,” he said.

He however says the boys will have it at the back of their minds that any slight mistake might cost the team but noted they will fight tooth and nail to bag the three points.

“If we win on Saturday, that will be a good start as we head to Maseru on Tuesday .We hope to get six points and ensure an early qualification,”Onyango noted, adding that supporters will be the 12th player at Namboole.

Cranes coach Sebastien Desabre said the players are in a good mood ready for the game.

Speaking to Nile Post early this week, KCCA FC midfielder Saddam Juma said the only sure way for qualification is through scoring many goals for the team.

“We are aware of the tight schedule between the two games and we are to come all out to improve our attacking and improve mistakes from our last game (Tanzania),”Juma said on Wednesday during the team’s training at Namboole.

In the barren draw against Tanzania, Desabre was blamed for playing a defensive game by employing Khalid Aucho and Denis Guma who by the time had no regular football at their respective clubs.

However, according to the KCCA FC midfielder, the team will focu more on crating and scoring goals as the only sure way to get past Likuena (the Crocodiles).

Meanwhile, the French Cranes tactician will be looking for his win competitive win for the team since taking over in December.

In the over 10 games he has been in charge of Cranes, he has only managed one win and it was in a friendly encounter.

He will be under pressure to bag three points at home on Saturday.

The top two nations  in  the 12 groups will  automatically qualify for AFCON  finals  which will be the first since the tournament was expanded from 16 to 24 teams.

Group L standings

Team        P W D L  F A  Pts
Uganda    2  1   1  0  1 0  4
Tanzania 2  0  2 0   1 1   2
Lesotho   2  0  2 0   2 2  2
C. Verde 2  0  1  1   1  2  0








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